The Moscow Mule is cocktail invented in 1941 as a way to improve Vodka sales in North America at a time when whiskey was king. The drink possesses a refreshing and sophisticated profile but is quite easy to make having only 3 ingredients; vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.
By definition Vodka is a neutral spirit and therefore is intended to have no flavor or smell. Because of this, there are a variety of quality but inexpensive brands that work very well as mixers. We recommend Svedka which has received several awards, including a rating of 93 points from Wine Enthusiast in 1999 and 2004, and a Gold Medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition. Despite it’s showings in spirit competitions, a handle of Svedka (1.75 liters) can be usually found for $16 to $19 and is widely distributed.
The most important factor in making your mule is your choice of ginger beer. Ginger beer is usually a non-alcoholic beverage similar to ginger ale but usually with a stronger and spicier ginger profile. There are a wide variety of ginger beers to choose from these days but many are overly sweet and lack the spice to make your Mule really kick. Some of the better ones out there are Fever Tree, Fentimans, and Gosling. We recommend Fever Tree as it is one of the spicier offerings, uses the highest quality natural ingredients, and is one of the lowest ginger beers in calories. They also offer a Naturally Light Ginger beer now with almost half the calories of their original formula with no artificial sweeteners.
Some blind tastes have revealed that lime juice reaches it’s peak flavor 4 hours after being squeezed and refrigerated, but will keep in the fridge for some days. Alternatively, if you happen juice a bunch of limes at once, you can pour the extra juice into ice cube trays where it will keep indefinitely and you can thaw it in your fridge at a later date.
Mules are traditionally served in a cooper mug which adds a nice visual element and makes the drink feel frostier than it already is.
Vodka – 2oz
Lime Juice – 1/2oz (or using 3/4oz will further bring out the ginger spice, if you desire)
Ginger Beer 6-7oz (1 small bottle of Fever Tree is 6.8oz and works well with these ratios)
Add vodka, lime juice, and a few ice cubes to the copper mug and stir. Add ginger beer (which should be previously refrigerated to keep from overly melting your ice), and more ice. Stir gently to mix. Add more ice to fill cup and garnish with a lime wedge. Crystalized ginger works well as a garnish too, and it’s what we used in the photo above.